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The Problem with Using a Higher Ed LMS for Customer Training

Posted by Hong Chau on Aug 9, 2017 5:30:00 AM

Hong Chau >

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Customer training platforms are not the traditional K-12 or even Higher Ed learning management system (LMS). They often offer functionality that many academically-focused platforms ignore. In this post, we’ll outline a few key differences between the academic and the extended-enterprise LMS, and highlight why they matter.

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The academic LMS typically satisfies a few very specific use cases. As a gated system, the Higher Ed LMS is usually configured to allow only specific learners and instructors into the platform. Unless users have institutional accounts, it’s very difficult for outside learners to gain access to university resources, let alone the LMS. In best case scenarios, course content can be made publicly accessible but user analytics become anonymized, or temporary user accounts are created but access to learning material disappears.

A recurring problem with traditional academic learning management systems is the inability to adapt to the needs of a non-traditional program. Even within the scope of higher-ed, these systems fall short of meeting the various requirements of their users and students. For example, LMS administrators in education often manage fringe-case course sites for non-degree granting programs. With these course sites, a number of programs have additional needs that require a patchwork quilt of technology tools: a course site, an events calendar, a registration system, a payment processor, time-based access management, audience-specific content management, etc. The list of needs goes on. The traditional LMS designed for degree-granting programs can’t handle these fringe cases.

The problem often lies in access. Outside of terms and semesters, the traditional LMS is provisioned by student information systems and leaves program initiatives to fend for themselves.                            

When seeking out a platform for extended-enterprise, or more specifically, customer training, it’s important to take access management into account. How will students register for, enter and interact with the LMS? As with Skilljar, access management should be simple and flexible. With multiple methods of authorizing and authenticating users, our secure platform allows users to quickly develop online content and allow outside learners access through a variety of methods. As you’re looking for a system that meets your needs, consider your options. Self-registration, single sign-on, and preregistration are all options to look into as you plan the route that students will be taking in your portal. You may also need to integrate payment systems, create customized learning portals, and scale course catalogs based on specific audiences.

With the right technology, the focus for administrators and program coordinators is no longer on managing access to content, but demonstrating ROI by tracking access and course completion. As you consider which platform will provide the best experience for admins and students alike, look for these features that undoubtedly reduce barriers to accessing your content.

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Topics: Training, LMS, User Management

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